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Advice for Permaculture Garden for Restaurant

 
Lisa Kohlhepp
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Hello!
I am just beginning permaculture designing. I would love some advice on designing a permaculture garden for a restaurant that is in some filtered shade throughout the day. Do we try and get the landlords permission to cut down that beautiful sweet gum tree? or jut plant with the shade? The space is small, roughly 15 feet by 30 feet. I know not much can be grown for the whole restaurant, as they have other larger garden sites in the area. I am open to suggestions. Thanks so much!
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This is the space, which is just outside the kitchen door.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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For starters? That sunny spot against the wall behind the bright hole is screaming for some cherry tomatoes. People love fresh cherries in a salad. I'd take out that hedge that's lingering back there now and put up some trellising for cherry tomatos. What's the climate like? Do you know anything about the soil under that grass?
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Hi Lisa:

Can you start off by telling us where you're located, what zone you are, how much rain you get, and the orientation of this property? That would help people understand the property more and allow folks who live in your region to chime in.

Also - if the restaurant already has garden plots somewhere else they might consider simply planting the area in something other than grass - like perennial herbs, flowers, shrubs to act as a nectary and increase the biodiversity and nutrient capture on site. You might have some problems planting around the roots of that established tree - planting seeds instead of plants would make it easier. I would NOT cut down the tree unless there was a real and compelling issue to do so, like the tree was damaged in some way. That tree is performing many more functions for humans than a veggie garden would.
 
John Elliott
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Chervil, day lilies, hostas, and lettuce can all be planted in the shade -- before they are taken to the kitchen. And they would also provide some nice color.
 
Lisa Kohlhepp
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Thanks for your responses! I really appreciate it. This space is on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The direction of the photo is north east. The tree is Sweet Gum and it's leaves are gone right now. The owner of the restaurant wants a veggie herb garden, with flowers too. I am just beginning with permaculture design, currently getting my PDC online. It's a bit overwhelming and I am kinda swimming in how to proceed. I have buit mandala gardens and spiral herb gardens. I just want to do a fantastic job for them and totally transform their grassy space into an edible one. What do people charge for consultations and per hour? Any information is welcome! Thanks!!
 
Lisa Kohlhepp
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This site is zone 8. The climate is warm, humid temperate climate a few miles from the ocean. We have hot summers and no dry season.
 
John Elliott
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Hilton Head!? I may have to come down and visit, do they do a nice Low Country boil?

I would also add taro and canna lilies to the list, like what I suggested in this thread.
 
Jennifer Wadsworth
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A nice herb spiral might work really well in that climate if the chef is looking for culinary herbs (Mediterranean climate plants) - it could provide the drier microclimate for some of the heat loving herbs like rosemary, sage, lavender. However, a NE exposure might be a tad challenging to work with (more the "north" than the east). And of course your tree may shade out some of those herbs when it's leafed out. Could the chef plant herbs in pots and put them in a spot where they might get more direct sun?

As for pay, I can only speak to what the going rate is around here. If you are brand new - $25-35/hr - usually with a minimum 2-4 hour consultation. That's for design, not installation. Once established, folks around here are getting $50 and more if they REALLY know what they're doing and are designing complete systems, over and above annual gardens. Since you're on Hilton Head, the economy may support much more.

Best of luck!
Jen
 
Lisa Kohlhepp
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Great feedback. Thank you all. To answer Landon's question, the soil is total sand. Its on an island, Hilton Head Island, SC.
So to review plant suggestions : Chervil, Day Lillies, Hostas, Lettuce, Taro, Canna Lillies.
Any other edibles to recommend for shade?
 
Lisa Kohlhepp
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What creative ways have been used for screening with plants, in this situation, screening from the parking lot?

1st photo. Here's another view of the Space,
2nd Photo. Any suggestions for exisiting Shade trellis?
3rd Photo. What do Permies do with a space like this?
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Another View of Space
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Any Suggestions for existing trellis? In shade of course.
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What do Permies do with a space like this?
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Does that storm grate in the last photo drain to the ocean? Does it get overwhelmed in heavy rains and take a long time to drain? If that is a real wet area, I would put a line of taro at the edge of the parking lot. Let it grow up about 4' tall and harvest it for Polynesian type dishes. It will also do well in the filtered sun that seems to be what you have right there.
 
Lisa Kohlhepp
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Hi John, I am not sure if i the grate drains to the ocean. This is a new site to me, so I will continue to observe it. Sounds like Taro would be a good choice! Thanks so much for the suggestion!
 
Ken Peavey
steward
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Location: FL
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The space is so small it may not be practical to grow crops to use in the restaurant for regular menu items, although herbs, specialty and featured items may be possible. Foot traffic nearby suggests fresh ripe tomatoes will drive away along with all the work you put into the project. It's proximity to the parking lot presents an opportunity to offer the guests a visual or sensational delight.

-An aroma garden would be interesting: plants with pleasant appeal as people walk in and out of the place. Jasmine, honeysuckle, rosemary for example.
-Eye appeal: an assortment of leafy and flowering crops
-Decor. Something akin to the Gardens of Versailles, but on a smaller scale.
-Edible Landscaping. Berry bushes can be attractive and offer a tasty treat as people walk by.

There is some space to work with for raising crops for use in the place. Lots of lettuces out there with are fast growing, cut and come again, and attractive. Added to the house salad, the dining experience in enhanced.

 
Permaculture isn't that hard to understand. Sometimes a little bump helps: richsoil.com/cards
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